|Dr. Calsey Willmore Johnson
Former Senator, Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Calsey Willmore Johnson was a veteran Bahamian Broadcaster, and a former diplomat and Senator.
Calsey Willmore Johnson was born in the Bahamas on 22 October 1936. His first career break came in 1966, when he travelled to Kingston, Jamaica to cover the 8th British Empire and Commonwealth Games. In 1969, Calsey was awarded a two-year in-service scholarship to study Broadcast Journalism and Radio/Television Production at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, Toronto, Canada. On his return in 1971, he was appointed News Director.
Johnson, a Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Stalwary Councillor, started his career and was among the pioneers of ZNS and the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas. Together with Ed Bethel, Louis Hanchell and Sir Charles Carter, they transformed ZNS radio and pioneered ZNS television and moulded the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas into the service nationwide that it is today.
In 1972, he conceived and hosted the Radio programme “Contract.” In that year, he also inaugurated “Tell It Like It Is” a one-hour programme with Cabinet Ministers as guests. He also hosted the programme, “Action Line.” In 1972, he was also chosen by the Broadcasting Corporation to launch ZNS’ Northern Service located in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Mr. Johnson worked in Freeport for two years as Station Manager and he maintained the same title when he returned to Nassau in 1974. Shortly afterwards, he was promoted to General Manager of the Corporation.
For Mr. Johnson, the introduction of Television in The Bahamas on July 10th, 1977 was considered one of the highlights of his career. Later that year, on October 20th, 1977 ZNS-TV was officially opened by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
After his fourteen-year stint as General Manager, from 2002-2007, Mr. Johnson became the Executive Chairman of The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas.
After his retirement from broadcast and a stint in the private sector as vice-president of marketing and sales with British Fidelity Insurance, Johnson entered politics under the late Sir Lynden Pindling as the party’s secretary general.
Johnson later ran for office in the Bamboo Town constituency against the late Tennyson Wells, and served as a senator from 2002 to 2004. He later served as Bahamas High Commissioner to Canada.
Johnson was married to wife Dulcena Johnson and was the father of one daughter.
Johnson died on 24 October 2019 - two days before his birthday. He was 82. He was accorded a State Recognised Funeral on 8 November 2019 at Rhodes Memorial Methodist Church, Montrose Avenue followed by interment in Woodlawn Gardens Cemetery, Soldier Road.